Daniel Jones underwent an MRI on Monday, and while the New York Giants presumably waited with bated breath for promising results, they appear to have avoided the worst-case scenario. While Jones was unable to finish the game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, the MRI showed that he avoided a major hamstring injury, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
The 23-year-old, returning to his feet only to be helped off of the field by the team's medical staff moments later. After an extensive evaluation in the blue medical tent, Jones attempted to return to the game but threw just one pass before wincing heavily, grabbing the back of his leg and immediately heading back to the sideline.
While the Giants were reportedly bracing for Jones to miss time going forward, there is now an outside chance he could play this coming Sunday, per Rapoport. That stance is more in like with head coach Joe Judge's optimistic tone on Monday morning.
"Yeah, I would say I'm optimistic [about next week] at this point right now," he told media, via ESPN.
"Now I don't want to go ahead and say 'yay' or 'nay' because I don't have the medical information at this time," he said, prior to the MRI. "So, again, once he talks to the doctors and we get the information, I'm sure he's going to try everything he can. But I am optimistic just knowing what he's played through before and how he's handled different things. Again, I have to be fair to the player.
"I don't know how he feels physically. I don't know what the severity of the injury is. So I have to make sure I have that information. Obviously we don't want to put any player on the field if they can't properly defend themselves or compete."
For his part, Jones explained the failed attempt to re-enter the game.
"Yeah, just felt it on that play and didn't feel like I could get a lot on it really or do what I needed to do to be effective and move the ball and throw it accurately," he said. "Just look to rehab it, do whatever I can to heal it up as fast as I can."
It was backup Colt McCoy who stepped in to finish the job against the Bengals, helping lead the Giants to a win and first place in the NFC East. If Jones ends up missing any time at all going forward, McCoy will be tasked with manning the ship and delivering the first playoff berth for Big Blue since 2016. Jones was playing good football prior to the injury, arguably some of the best of his young but uneven career, but McCoy has been in this position before. A 10-year veteran of the NFL, his several seasons spent with the Washington Football Team saw him tasked with taking the reins as starter on more than one occasion.
He also started in 21 games for the Cleveland Browns in his first two NFL seasons, a former third-round pick who went on to a one-year stay with the San Francisco 49ers before landing in Washington in 2014. McCoy isn't the most prolific backup you'll see, as noted by his 7-21 career record as a starter, but he's also not the worst. He's thrown 27 interceptions in his career to 29 touchdowns, but 20 of those INTs were in his first two years in the NFL. Since 2011, he's averaging just one interception per start -- not awful for a QB2 -- and while he threw no touchdowns in the Giants win over the Bengals, he also didn't turn the ball over.
Time will tell if McCoy will have to play his best ball to keep the Giants in the win column. That is, of course, if Jones isn't available to do so himself.
It was a wild Week 12 Sunday and there's a lot to go over. John Breech, Ryan Wilson and host Will Brinson break it all down on the Pick Six Podcast; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.